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NHS Supply Chain welcomes publication of NHS Procurement Strategy

Monday 5 August 2013

Commenting on the publication of ‘Better Procurement, Better Value, Better Care: a Procurement Development Programme for the NHS’, Nick Gerrard, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Supply Chain said ”NHS Supply Chain welcomes the publication of the procurement strategy and is committed to supporting the Department of Health and NHS organisations with its implementation to deliver greater efficiency savings from procurement and supply activities. NHS Supply Chain has already achieved over £600 million worth of savings for the NHS and is on target to deliver over £1 billion worth of savings by 2016 through its role of aggregating NHS spend to provide better value for its customers.”

Nick added: “We also welcome the strategy highlighting the Department of Health’s Capital Equipment Fund of £300 million managed by NHS Supply Chain. The Fund has achieved directly attributable savings of £12.2 million at an incremental saving to the NHS of more than 12% between March 2012 and the end of April 2013.

NHS Supply Chain supports the strategy’s focus on improving data, information and transparency, and is continuously improving its data offering to trusts. We believe that the publication of procurement metrics will enable trusts to have visibility and better cost control which should result in delivering efficiencies and enabling compliance with procurement policies.

We also supports the moves to create a single NHS GS1 data pool for the NHS to use in its systems with the appropriate support provided to SMEs to enable compliance. NHS Supply Chain is GS1 accredited and believes that GS1 coding can remove complexity and cost for both trusts and providers as it enables scanning and the automation of manual processes associated with stock receipt, put-away and consumption.

Welcoming the initiatives around improving capability and leadership within the NHS to support the delivery of world class procurement, Nick Gerrard said “We established our Customer Board to define what the needs of the NHS are in terms of procurement and supply, with membership including NHS Executives, Clinical Directors and Non-Executive Directors. The Customer Board’s ultimate aim is to influence NHS Supply Chain’s business strategy to enable greater savings to be delivered to the NHS by ensuring that our customers are getting the best value from our services, and that our services meet the needs of the NHS.”

David Melbourne, Interim Chair of the NHS Supply Chain Customer Board and Chief Financial Officer of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said “I welcome the publication of the Department of Health’s ‘Better Procurement, Better Value, Better Care: a Procurement Development Programme for the NHS’ and hope that the NHS will support its objectives given the difficult financial challenges that all organisations are facing. The challenges around getting best value from NHS procurement are widely understood and it’s now time to deliver the efficiencies that can be achieved through working with partners such as NHS Supply Chain.”

Nick Gerrard concluded “Through our experience of working with NHS trusts, we do believe that further efficiency savings can be achieved through working together to aggregate NHS spend, and provide commitment to suppliers to get the best value out of every pound spent on procuring products.”


Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Tom Stone
07730 202 668

Joanna Morrison
07776 457201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

Follow us on Twitter: @NHSSupplyChain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 600,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1* per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include: 

  • Theatres
  • Dental
  • Audiology
  • Catering, including food
  • Infection control
  • Orthopaedics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in ten locations.

Delivering value to the NHS